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Success Story: Michael

Michael entered Goodwill’s Offender Success program in October of 2017 as a condition of his parole. Having been in prison for years, he had nothing and was uncertain of his future.

While in the Offender Success program, Goodwill case managers helped Michael with employment readiness training, résumé building, and finance and budgeting classes. He received guidance that gave him what he calls “a new way of thinking.” He gained real-world work experience doing parts assembly contract work in Goodwill’s Industrial Services division. While participating in this trial work experience, his supervisor noticed that he performed extremely well on the job and he was referred to GoodTemps for job placement assistance.

GoodTemps Business Development Specialist Greg Borgman met with Michael and they devised a plan to better his life starting with a good job.  Part of Michael’s new way of thinking included learning how to positively take redirection. “My goal was to get Michael paired with a nurturing employer who would value him,” Borgman said. “I just knew that Industrial Metal Cleaning Corporation would be that employer.”

Working with Greg and Jason Meekhof, owner of Industrial Metal Cleaning Corporation, Michael was placed in a temporary assignment with the company. The trio worked together to positively overcome barriers. For the first 90 days, Michael did not have transportation. Meekhof worked an attendance schedule with him, knowing that Michael could not own a vehicle until he had worked long enough to earn the funding to purchase one. This support helped Michael complete his 90-day probationary period with flying colors and on October 26, Michael was hired as a full-time pickle line operator.

Michael thrives in his second shift job. He was nominated as employee of the month, and is credited for building a sense of family and pride with his coworkers. “He has taken initiative to have competitions that are in the interest of the company and even worked them out so that quality was a key component,” said Meekhof. “His attitude is excellent, he is always eager to learn, and his quality of work and output is outstanding. I had always worried about what was happening on second shift, but since Michael has been here, I have had no concerns about it.”

Michael really loves his job. “My life is on track,” he said. “I have a job and now I have goals I can reach.” He attributes his success to support from Goodwill and his employer. “Goodwill gave me a feeling of hope knowing I always had them behind me.” And that support is also happening in the workplace. “We have had such a great experience with the people Goodwill and GoodTemps have sent us,” Meekhof said. “Three of our best employees have come from Goodwill. I can tell that participants feel Goodwill really cares about them and that goes a long way for some who have never really felt cared about. I try to carry that on as an employer and show them that they are important and prove that we care about them as well.”

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